La Famiglia

It sounds corny I know. But when it comes to my favorite hotel, Tramonto D’Oro, in my favorite Italian town, Praiano along the Amalfi Coast, the people there not only make you feel so at home, they also make you feel as if you were a blood relative.

One of the reasons we keep returning to the same lovely property in the same quaint waterfront town in addition to the quality of the service, the picture-perfect setting, and the unbeatable sunsets as indicated by the hotel name, is the comfort level. The owners, the Esposito family, and their staff remember their guests and truly appreciate them.

Probably one of the best examples of this family friendly feeling and warm hospitality happened during one of the many wedding receptions that are held at Tramonto. It was our first time staying at this location. My husband and I returned from dinner about 11pm and heard music coming from the hotel terrace. The music was very familiar. So familiar it reminded us of our own wedding, as being from large Italian families playing and singing Neapolitan songs was part of our tradition. My father and his brothers were all strong vocalists and impromptu Italian sing-alongs happened at just about every get together including weddings and holidays. So naturally we were drawn to the lovely Italian melodies we heard coming from above. My husband decided to head to bed, but I couldn’t resist wandering up to the terrace to get a closer look and listen. I did my best to stay in the background, leaning over a railing and taking in the sights and sounds without disturbing the reception.

There was a huge table filled with wedding cake, cookies, fruit, nuts, cannoli, and of course an endless supply of Prosecco. The moon was reflecting on the water below and the entire scene seemed almost unreal. There I was taking in the moment when suddenly the hotel’s head waiter Giuseppe, whom I had come to know over our time there, tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and there he was standing there with a smile on this face and a plate of treats in one hand and of course a glass of Italian sparkling wine in the other.

Fast forward ten years later, this past September, and it was déjà vu all over again as you can see from the pictures. The only difference is my husband, Dominic, was smart enough to join me this time. So dear Giuseppe gave us a double dose of goodies the second time around. Keep in mind that he did this on both occasions when he still had to oversee the serving of the wedding party and their guests. If these repeat gestures of warmth and hospitality expressed in food and wine don’t make one feel like part of a family, I don’t know what does. Grazie Giuseppe. Alla Familgia.